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5 Healthy Tips to Deal with Stress

Stress is a killer. And it's not like it’s a rare occurrence. Almost 3.4% of the entire American adult population suffers from severe psychological stress. That is more than 8 million citizens of the USA. Stress, like many other mental health issues, is a silent killer. It can start at any time and even minor events like paying your cox internet packages bill late can aggravate it. Stress occurs when you start perceiving that you can’t cope with the demands life places on you. This could be school, work or even your personal relationships. Sometimes, small amounts of stress can be helpful. It can encourage you to work productively or cram for exams or meet deadlines. Extreme stress, however, is not good and can give rise to a host of other health issues.

Stress and How to Deal with it

Chronic or extreme stress can have harmful consequences on your health. Stress adversely affects your cardiovascular function. It also affects the central nervous system and causes severe emotional drainage. That’s not all. Chronic undiagnosed can lead to other conditions like high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, and reduced immunity. It can also result in several major illnesses including heart disease, obesity through stress eating and even depression. All this makes it even more important that you know how to deal with stress in a healthy manner. These 5 healthy tips can help you manage stress in a way that doesn’t harm you or others around you:

  1. Identify and Avoid Stressors
  2. Work out Regularly
  3. Smile/Laugh More Often
  4. Establish a Support System
  5. Meditation

Below follows a closer look at how each tip can help you manage stress in a healthy way.

Identify and Avoid Stressors

The first step is to identify the things that cause you stress. If they are avoidable, you should steer clear of them to avoid aggravating your mental state. But sometimes, it’s not so easy to get away from a stressor. It could be a big project at work, a new baby, or worrying expenses. In such cases, avoiding the stressor is neither practical nor advisable. But you can still take breaks from these stressors. When you step away for a little while, you allow yourself time to do other things. These other things can help you gain a new perspective on whatever is bothering you. Use this time to do things that help you feel less overwhelmed by the situation. You don’t need to run away from your bills or your kids to avoid stress. Even a short break of 20-minutes can be enough to help you deal with your stressor or stressors.

Work Out Regularly

There is substantial research that shows exercise is just as beneficial to the mind as to the body. There are a number of long-term benefits to regular exercise. But there are also significant immediate benefits to a 20-minute session of physical activity. Dancing, walking or running can all give you a much-needed emotional boost. So whenever you’re feeling stressed, workout in between for a lasting feel-good effect.

Smile/Laugh More Often

At first glance, this may seem like an odd tip. But that does not mean it is any less helpful. The brain is deeply connected to facial expressions and emotions. The next time you realize you’re stressed, take a look in the mirror. Chances are a lot of that stress shows in your face. One way to relieve stress is to smile and laugh more than you normally do. This will help relieve most of the stress and make you feel much better than you were when stressed.

Establish a Support System

The worst mistake a lot of people make is to suffer through mental health issues alone. Don’t isolate yourself from family and friends. Take the time to call a close friend or email a family member. Getting back in touch with people helps you make your own support system. If you have someone to share your concerns with, you can relieve a lot of the stress you’re feeling. However, it is important that the people you choose are people you trust. You need to speak to people who can understand how you feel and validate your thoughts. If being around a certain person causes you to stress, it would be a bad idea to include them in your social support system.

Meditation

This may surprise you but meditation actually helps a lot in dealing with chronic stress. It helps to relax your body and focus your mind on more tranquil things. Meditation also helps you discover new perspectives and develop empathy and compassion. Meditation allows you to let go of negative emotions that cause your mind and body any measure of stress. Even a brief meditation break can do wonders for stress relief.

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